REGION – The Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School Class of 2022 gathered at the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday for its graduation.
School community members celebrated a return of this annual ceremony to the DCU Center after two years of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers, likewise, reflected on the pandemic, its disruptions, and the triumphs of graduates in the face of that adversity.
“This is certainly a joyous occasion,” Superintendent Ernest Houle said.
Houle addressed graduates alongside Assabet Principal Mark Hollick.
They were then followed by Salutatorian Omavuaye “Jude” Ighovoyivwi and Valedictorian Maxwell Sivert.
Recognizing those lost to the pandemic, Houle discussed the impacts of remote learning and other COVID-19 precautions.
“The past several years have not been easy,” he said.
“After what we’ve all been through, we’re itching to live again, to get back in touch with our lives and friends, family and colleagues and to reunite with all that brings us joy and happiness,” he then continued.
Houle implored graduates to take time to celebrate their hard work and to reconnect with friends and family.
“Enjoy life,” he said.
Noting some similar points, Hollick highlighted the loved ones supporting graduates, among other things.
“As you cross this stage today, know that this is a victory not only for you, but for your family and friends,” he said. “Don’t forget that you got here with them.”
Ighovoyivwi, in his comments, continued reflections on COVID-19, further recalling early high school days in the pre-pandemic era where this year’s graduates made many of their first high school friendships.
COVID-19 then threw hurdles in the path of individual Class of 2022 members, he said. But those students stayed on their feet.
“We chose to persevere and aim for this moment,” he said.
“Tough times truly don’t last forever,” he continued. “They merely prepare us for success.”
Taking the microphone after a performance by the Assabet School Chorus, Sivert continued reflections on the path to date.
He then cast attention to the future.
“Regardless of where we end up, I know we will be able to change the world for the better, just as we’ve changed over these four short years,” he said.